Alas...we moved to North Jersey and I still miss the yummy food there at the market in Kingston. Sometimes they have roasted duck or rabbit, and the pretzels there are to die for. I have been spoiled forever. Haven't been able to eat another pretzel since we moved from the area in 2001.
Okay all...just for foodie fun on a cold day...let's take an informal poll of the best places (high, middle of the road and cheap end) to eat in NJ, best locales to stroll to find ethnic food, and most overrated. I am a world traveler who loves to eat, and former NYC resident, so I was initially miserable when I came out to the burbs, thinking there would be no wonderful place to eat. I was wrong. While there certainly aren't as many places as NYC, there are many jewels. And, like someone else said on the blog earlier, it's the burbs---so everything is spread out. Add your thoughts, and I will put mine below (decidely Central and Northern end of the state, as that's where I am) to start off.
Mid to higher end restaurants:
Stagehouse (Scotch Plains)...prix fixe great, lovely hangar steak and mushroom soup with truffle oil and a killer potato tarte...average desserts though
Boulevard Five72 in Kenilworth...yum, nuff said
A Toute Heure in Cranford...my shining star of the moment...pleeeeeez go! Fun, original, and on the slow food movement tip. Flavor is "in" again.
Frog and Peach...consistent and good
Catherine Lombardi's in New Brunswick (yum...owned by the Stage Left crew)...fab food...fab cocktails...
A little cheaper Middle of the road in price restaurants:
Daimatsu Japanese Restaurant in Mountainside...consistent and yummy sushi...ignore the look of the place and go to eat...whatever is on the specials board, make sure you order it...and they know how to do lovely little fried oysters and more
Thailand Restaurant (yes, that is actually the name) in Clark, is consistent and authentic, with great seafood. They're in a converted silver metal diner, but ignore the looks and eat there. Packed on the weekend, for sure. Fast and friendly for takeout too.
Really cheap restaurants/and fab takeout places:
European Provisions in East Brunswick...lovely sandwiches made from their own smoked hams...in the Polish tradition...order a ham here for the holidays, but make sure it has the bone in, as it is more flavorful
Mr. Tod's Pie Factory in Somerset..Chocolate cream, sweet potato, pumpkin, or key lime are my favorites, but all the berry and apple pies are really good, considering no one knows how to make pie anymore, or charges way too much. His price is right. The main locale in Somerset is only for takeout pie, though I heard he has a small place in a different location in Somerset to sit and eat pie too, I think. Do not order for the holidays, unless you are prepared to wait in a massive line snaking out the door. Go on some other random weekend and treat yourself.
Locales for cheap eats that I love:
Place I haven't gone to yet, but I am dying to go to, considering how many people I know love it:
Most overated and overpriced and wouldn't return:
Would love some more ideas from you or thoughts on my picks!